Happy Bike Month

Two wheels good, four wheels bad. But internal combustion still helps.

Two wheels good, four wheels bad. But internal combustion still helps.

Bike Month finally comes to Colorado in June (we’re a little slow). Naturally, the weather has gone to hell, with showers and thunderstorms in the forecast all week long. Bugger. I’ll bet it won’t slow down the guy we saw cycling through the Garden of the Gods yesterday, the dude with two prosthetic legs. Somehow I doubt a little precip’ will turn him into a weepy little girl.

I’m another story, of course. A sensitive artiste. Dribble a little water on me outside of cyclo-cross season and I melt away like the Wicked Witch of the West; what a world, what a world. Nevertheless, I plan to reprise my usual Bike Month vow, which is to leave the Forester parked as much as is possible for a lazy fat bastard.

That should be a little easier this year as I have expanded the collection of “bicycles” in the Mad Dog fleet. In addition to the usual Bike Month workhorse, a Soma Double Cross with rack, panniers and fenders, there’s the Vespa LX50 — which under Colorado law is classified as a “motorized bicycle.” So I’ll ride the scooter whenever I’m feeling a tad fragile or don’t want to turn up someplace all sweaty and fragrant.

While we’re on the topic of healthy pursuits, my man Hal Walter over at Hardscrabble Times advises that Phil Maffetone’s latest iteration of his popular book “In Fitness and in Health” is now available from Amazon.com. Hal edited this fifth edition, along with a couple of others, and he and Phil are collaborating on a new blog with news about the book, health and fitness tips, recipes and other goodies. Swing on past and take a gander.

And finally, Kathy Crandall advises that Old Town Bike Shop’s John Crandall, injured in a bike-car crash, undergoes shoulder surgery today and may be ready for visitors by Thursday or Friday. Think good thoughts and stay tuned.

10 Responses to “Happy Bike Month”

  1. Cyclin Missy Says:

    I do the same, but with my bike and a 1985 Honda Spree. So much fun!

  2. khal spencer Says:

    Patrick, how big a tire can you mount on that Soma and still have room for the fenders? My Redline doesn’t like anything much bigger than a 700-26 or 700-28 with the fenders on, which means I can’t mount my spare set of wheels, which are presently shod with Vittoria 700-35 Randonneur Pros. I’m half-assedly looking for a frame with more fender clearance.

    Originally bought those for the tandem, but when I tried to pump them to about 90 psi for the long bike, one blew its sidewall and I decided that wasn’t a particularly good idea. They are nice for the mile of construction zone on my way to work, though.

  3. Patrick O'Grady Says:

    Missy, good on’ye. A friend rides a Honda Metropolitan when she’s not on her bike and loves it. I’ve thought about getting one for Herself, but she only shrieks and points to our bank balance whenever I bring up the subject.

    Khal, you can mount 700x38s on a Double Cross. You can buy frame and fork for under $500, and Herself and I both love ours; she won’t ride anything else. I run 700×30/32 Michelin Jets on mine ’cause they’re my favorite cyclo-cross tires, but I may hunt up some fatter rubber this year (plus I need the Jets for another bike).

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Cool. I see that BTI distributes them.

  5. Ben S. Says:


    My Bianchi Volpe runs 700×32 (some wide, lugged tire Bianchi included to make this touring frame into a cross bike, sigh) with SKS/ESGE P45 fenders no problem. I’m looking into touring tires in a 32 like the Marathons. Preferably with an anti-puncture belt to help with the stress during commutes.

    I’m open to suggestions.

    No powered two wheel alternative, but I am using a Honda Fit for carbon based transport.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    We have been using the Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard Road Tires (belted, folding beads) on our tandem for several years now after I had some casing failures with my favorite tandem tires, the Avocet Fastgrip Carbons. The Paselas definitely don’t roll as fast as the Carbons, but after two sidewall blowouts on the Carbons (never happened to me on previous generations of Avocets) I decided that slower was better than road rash or worse, esp. with my bride on the back. I can’t remember when I flatted one of these things. They seem bombproof.

    The Pasela 700-32 looks a lot like a 700-28 to me as far as size, so if you are looking for a 700-32 in those you might want to get the 700-35s.

  7. James Says:

    Can you even get Avocet tires anymore? The last I heard (about two years ago – and confirmed (?) about a week ago – was that they were not in bidness anymore. Awesome tires BTW.

    The only ‘issue’ I would have with the Marathons from Schwalbe are that they can be kinda heavy. Not normally any issue with non-racing set-ups, but still a possible bear with speed freaks as it is rotating weight.

    Specialized Armadillos or Conti with GatorSkins were the most popular touring or 700×28+ size tires we sold when I was working bike accessory sales. Price-wise they were about $35+/tire, which was slightly cheaper than the Schwalbes.

  8. khal spencer Says:

    Tandems, Ltd. had some Avocets left on the shelf. Call Jack and Susan Goertz; see below. I see Avocet still had a web site up, but not sure they are still making anything.

    Jack Goertz
    Tandems, Ltd
    2220 Vanessa Dr
    Birmingham, AL 35242
    (205)-991-5519 (voice)
    (205)-991-7766 (fax)

  9. Swell Says:

    I got tired of the flats with lightweight 23’s on my old Trek 2300 and put 25mm Conti GatorSkins on last year. Not as fast, but I can take off into rural Dairyland for a run and not worry about having to walk home. They corner well too.

  10. khal spencer Says:

    I finally burned through the last of my old Specialized 700-26 tires on my Redline Conquest Pro commuter and put on a pair of Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elites at 700-23/25. Seem fast and much more supple than the old, 1990’s vintage Armadillos that rode like rounded bricks. I will withhold comment on puncture resistance until I have some miles on them. They were tough to mount, though.

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